I remember my visit to Delhi in early 90s. I saw billboards which talked about helpline centers for harassed husbands. These billboards initially left me in a state of dismay but I soon realized their worth. It was an awakening of sorts for me, but a greater lot remained a sleeping giant! One of the most difficult tasks is to create a new vision by bringing a change in the attitudes and precepts governing the society. The conditioning of brainwaves, age-old retarded practices and worn-out ideas cannot be changed overnight. That’s why we need a mass movement in organized way to create a new path. The significance of men’s rights movement need to be understood in light of principles controlling mass movements of previous eras, which believed in the fact that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
The Indian society, or for that matter, societies across the globe are still heavily polarized in the favor of females. Men are still treated as supposedly stronger sex and women as a weaker lot, tormented and oppressed by the former. The paid media and government controlled public information services repeatedly churn out lies and manipulate the facts to sustain the myth that women alone face discrimination and harassment. Such anti-human practices ensured that the men’s rights movements be the order of the day! The way feminists employed dirty tricks to project female victim-hood and create mass hysteria ensured that a counter movement came in existence to counteract them effectively. The purpose of men’s movement was not only to eliminate the propaganda and white lies of feminist but to ensure that manhood got the respect it deserved.
Fortunately, the movement has been recognized as an emerging force but it needs to cover a long distance creating bodies and institutions on par with ones born out of feminist movements. It needs to topple biased International bodies, which are promoting anti-societal tendencies in the name of emancipation of women. The average class of people, solely confined to livelihood may not be able to establish this great conspiracy, but MRAs need to understand this dangerous game. This great game involves likes of Arundhati Roy who says that “the feudal India has a huge history and legacy of disrespect and violence against women.” These so-called movers and shakers are systematically destroying cherished Indian institutions. Besides that they are also eroding the self-esteem of men’s community by continuously showing them in bad light.
“Feminism is the intellectual organization of gender hatred, just as Marxism was the intellectual organization of class hatred. Feminism’s business is fashioning weapons to be used against men in society, education, politics, law and divorce court. The feminist aim is to overthrow “patriarchal tyranny.” In this undertaking, the male’s civil rights count for no more than those of the bourgeoisie in Soviet Russia or the Jews in National Socialist Germany.” (‘What civil rights has wrought’ by Paul Craig Roberts, July 26, 2000). Ruth Wisse, a Professor at Harvard University, feels the same: “By defining between men and women in terms of power and competition instead of reciprocity and cooperation, the movement (read women’s liberation movement) tore apart the most basic and fragile contract in human society, the unit from which all other social institutions draw their strength.’ These wise gentlemen make it clear that men’s movement in India needs to be a perfect a mix of intellectual movement in league with revolutionary ways of shaking the institutions.
After all, the men’s organizations are not only against powerful lobby supported by governments in covert and overt fashion but they are also fighting the hidden enemy- one without a face! An enemy that uses government information services like Doordarshan to indulge in Ardhasatya ( Half truths) in name of “Satayameva Jayate” ( Truth Alone Prevails). Sometimes back New Delhi was hit by a rape. A committee got formed, which invited views from representatives of women’s and men’s bodies. Most of the representations there vilified men, and naturally the final recommendations went against the men. That’s the way how laws are passed in other cases. So whether it’s defining sexual harassment or shaping criminal jurisprudence in laws pertaining to property rights, maintenance rights and etc. the final outcome is always against the interest of men. The mother of all questions is: Are advocates of men’s rights fully prepared to fight such a powerful faceless enemy? And that too amid horrible and hopeless situation. Anyway, this terrible question provides a great permanence to the significance of movements related with men’s rights!
In India, the road to success for men’s rights movement is filled with virtually insurmountable obstacles. That’s because a vast section of men lives in villages whose lives are closely connected with prejudices and age-old beliefs related with “aham ( ego), sampatti ( property) and aurat ( woman)”. Coming to urban population, the society is chiefly divided into a great middle class and rich elite class. The former is deeply involved in struggles, pertaining to bread and butter, while the latter is completely submerged in ills flowing excess money supply. This class structure should make it very clear to MRAs that they need not to be sloppy while conveying the importance of having a movement for the rights of men. A lack of seriousness on their part might make their sincere efforts go in vain. After all, this age belongs to crude values hinging around materialism! So when you are advocating about finer values of newer types, like having a commission for men, one needs to demonstrate a high degree of logical precision side-by-side real seriousness. A louts emerges from mud. The associations related with men should borrow the spirit of lotus. Let them bloom amid such hopeless scenario. Instead of being discouraged, let’s use the disadvantages in our favor. That alone would keep the significance and relevance of men’s movement evergreen in a right way!